Journey into Your Ancestor Nature

What does it mean to explore your ancestor nature? This short video starts you down that trail!

We can look to how the ancestors live in us physically (and in our imaginative sense as well). We can also journey into ancestor nature by way of connecting with a powerful plant ally and teacher: Maize, more commonly known as Corn.

Corn has a rich, vibrant, and long history with our human family. Whether we eat corn or not, gratitude for the  co-creative, deeply interactive, respectful and even sacred relationship she has had with humankind for thousands of years can awaken a potent sense of wonder within us. Corn can help us recognize that we too as individuals are the result of an incredible co-creative dance of land, spirit, myriad beings, our own ancestral lineage, and so much more. Understanding and experiencing Corn as nourisher of our bodies, communities, ceremonial life, and spirit is one way to renew and deepen your sense of your own old ways nature!

Zea_mays_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-283Where do you sense ancestor nature within yourself?  What is that sensation? If you contemplate this sense of “ancestor” within yourself, what thoughts and emotions arise? Take time to journal them, create from awareness of them, and to share about them with a trusted friend (someone who won’t think you’re nuts 🙂 ).

I invite you to entertain the notion that the spirits of plants exist outside of three-dimensional reality, just as do our own spirits. Plants — especially those who are in close relationship to the human family — are often quick to respond (favorably!) to a greeting or appreciation by us human folk. Gratitude is a potent way to connect with a plant spirit.

An offering such as a little water, a song, cornmeal, or some other gift that feels appropriate to you in the moment are time-honored ways for cultivating a relationship with a plant and its spirit. Note that you don’t have to be physically present with a plant to connect with it (though it’s great to do so whenever you can).

CornSpirits-webIn journeying into your ancestor nature, consider calling on Corn to infuse that journey with her own wise ways. If you eat corn, you might mindfully prepare some corn and taste it before settling into reflection. How does Corn engage with whatever feels most “old soul” within yourself?

Suspending  disbelief (just set it respectfully to the side for the time being!), ask Corn if she is willing to share some wisdom or insight with you. Notice what arises (emotion, thought, sensation, memory …), and trust that these responses are a gift to you from Corn.  Write them down or engage in some other creative expression to explore what they mean to you.

How does awareness of the ancestral nature of Corn nourish your sense of  life-affirming wise ways? If you bring that awareness to the next food you eat — a curiosity about its ancestral nature — what awakens in your imaginative spirit and in the felt experience of your body as a result? What shifts for you?

Please share your stories and comments below!

More about Corn Spirit: One of my plant medicine teachers, Shamana Flora, Darcey Blue French writes eloquently and beautifully about Corn Spirit here.

Posted by Jane Valencia

Finding Strength Within

waterplantbodyI love the way words can enter my body, move my mind and open my heart, energize my creativity, and spark my spirit. Recently, I came across these words, spoken by one of my own mentors, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, pioneer in the field of somatic movement and founder of the transformative body of work called Body-Mind Centering®. Bonnie has dedicated her life to exploring the worlds of consciousness, embodiment, and the movement of mind. It was with her guidance that I began my own journey into the realms of inner ecology and found my deepest roots in the nature of myself. Here’s what Bonnie recently shared:

“What we call weakness is often not a lack of structure, but a lack of process. When that process is actualized, we experience strength. Process is based on relationship.”  

Big deep breath.  

All things, dear reader, return to the source – connection.

California_Coastline_-_thumbHow do you find connection with the truest nature of yourself? What enlivens your body? Your mind? Your spirit? What processes do you have in your life to make abiding relationship with your Self – your whole Self?

As each day grows shorter and darkness grows to surround more of our waking moments, what might you find if you turn toward your own inner light?  That wise voice that arises from the depths of your bodymindspirit? What needs tending for you now? How can you gently make relationship with what lies in shadow?

Begin with your breath.

  • Gently allow your breath to enter your nose and throat, and fill your lungs and deep belly.
  • Release the air out through your mouth, and pause until the next breath is drawn inward.
  • Close your eyes, and simply notice what sensation is calling your attention?
  • With your breath, gently greet this sensation. Be curious. Be thankful.
  • Now notice another sensation somewhere else in your body.
  • And invite your breath to gently greet that sensation, too. Again, bringing curiosity and gratitude to each greeting.
  • Practice this for as long as you like. When you are ready, open your eyes to receive the light, colors, textures, and shapes around you.
  • Notice any thoughts, feelings, memories, or visions that come forth to support your small moments of greeting yourself.

Take a few moments to draw or write about your experience. And share with us below. What might grow within you, strengthened by this process?